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Strength is a skill. It takes time to acquire it, and hundreds if not thousands of workouts to perfect the art of a heavy deadlift, squat or bench press.
You can’t just walk into the gym one day and decide you’re going to lift 500-lbs off the floor, press 300 above your head or perform a double bodyweight bench press. In the beginning though, your strength gains will come relatively easily. You can add weight to the bar each workout, perform extra reps with ease, and generally feel like you’re top dog in the gym, as you throw another 45 on the squat bar.
But over time these gains slow down, the extra 10-lbs you add each workout soon becomes 5-lbs, then two and a half, until finally you’re struggling for every extra rep, only adding weight every third or fourth workout, if that, and generally feeling like your strength gains are reaching a plateau.
So what can you do to kick-start your strength again?
You could flick through the latest muscle magazine, and even though there might be a small bit of content here and there between the supplement ads and pictures of oiled up, ripped dudes posing in tight shorts, the workouts are more targeted to muscle-heads, rather than the strength training connoisseur.
There’s also tones of information on the Internet, but how do you know what’s legit and what’s not?
Powerlifting books can be especially useful, but even those have their shortcomings, as authors will often stick rigidly to their own beliefs, which may not be right for everyone.
The only solution is to have a go at a tried and tested program that really works, which is what this article is.
Your training should be separated into different blocks throughout the year – fitness and conditioning phases, muscle growth phases, power phases, active rest and obviously – strength. Each block should be roughly six weeks long, as this is just about the longest time you can milk one specific program. Any less and you’re probably not taking everything the program has to offer, and any more and you’ll likely exhaust the benefits and quickly plateau again.
A word of warning – this program is not for beginners. As a new trainee, you shouldn’t need complicated programs – just focus on gradually increasing the weights you’re lifting and adding extra sets and reps while maintaining perfect form.
If you’re ready to get started and make the next six weeks the most productive of your strength training life, then read on.